Worrying food news for you now. Did you know that counterfeit meat is actually a big problem in the States today? And not just cheaper cuts being labelled as more expensive ones, oh no. We’re talking about animals being sold as other animals. We’re talking about you eating RATS.
Several shipping containers from China have been seized by US custom officials recently in the Port of San Francisco. They contained meat. The meat intercepted was due to be distributed to a series of different processing plants across America and to be sold as chicken. Only trouble was it wasn’t chicken. It was rat.
It’s estimated by the FDA that more than 1,000,000lbs of rat meat has entered the food chain this way in the past. A hugely troubling thought.
We’ve just seen the worst time of the year for the practice. Super Bowl. Demand soars as everyone plans beer and wings Sundays. FBI coordinator Allen James specializes in counterfeit meat and says this:
“Every year a similar situation arises. Last year we seized large quantities of opossum meat coming from Mexico. Criminal organizations see the Super Bowl as a period to cash in on different manners, be it illegal bets or gambling but also counterfeit meat. Where there is a way to make money, there will always be people who will try to find a way to bypass the law and make some profit.”
FDA spokesperson, Jenny Brookside says it often very hard to spot the differences in chicken and rat:
“Unfortunately, it is too late for the produce that has already been sold on the market. It is up to consumers to try to identify the quality and source of the meat that is packaged, but there is no absolute way of determining for 100% if the meat in your plate is chicken or rat. If you find that your chicken wings taste slightly different from usual, it is a good bet that they might be counterfeit meat, but this can be easily hidden through the use of different ingredients and spices.”
Our recommendation? Buy your chicken wings from a trusted source. And get them on the bone.